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40th Anniversary of the Series III Land Rover

September of this year will be the 40th birthday of the introduction of the Series III Land Rover. The model remained in production for another 14 years and proved to be a major money earner for British Leyland company who manufactured it. There remains so many enthusiasts of this particular model worldwide that prices are on the increase and parts are being remanufactured by a variety of independant companies to satisfy the demand.A word of caution however is needed as to the quality of some of these remanufactured parts. Generally, if parts are significantly cheaper than their equivalent alternatives then the quality is probably suspect and they could infact become a safety concern.

Many of the differences between the Series III and the Series IIA that it replaced, were visual of a visual nature. Some were motivated by perceived market challenges derivinging from rival 4x4's of the period. Many of these upgrading changes were phased into production before the Series IIA Land Rover ceased production. So many of the later Series IIA's could be considered hydrids of the two models. Some of the most noticeable visual differences in the Seres III were the dashboard design, which became softer and the switches and instrumentation became more user friendly. A striking modification to the appearance of the front of the Series III was the substitution of the metal radiator grill for a plastic version. No longer could could it duplicate as a BBQ grill.

Perhaps the most technically appreciated, upgrade of the Series III was the all synchromesh gearbox, though usability is generally regarded as having been gained at the loss of rugged reliability. However, treated with respect, the all synchromesh gearbox can share a longevity characteristic with its predecessor. It does however retain its ability to become noisier with age.

The long serving single independant wiper motors that changed little through the Series I,II and IIA models were finally replaced with a much more efficient system. The tendency of the crankshaft to flex and bend at high revolutions was not solved until 9 years into Series III production by introducing the 5-bearing crankshaft.

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Fascinating facts
(No.105 )

Early Series I's in the UK were wired to extinguish one headlamp when dipped.


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